Greener Journal of Educational Research

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Ndofirepi et al

Greener Journal of  Educational Research Vol. 2 (4), pp. 083 -090, November 2012

 ISSN: 2276-7789 

Research Paper

Manuscript Number: 103112182


To discipline or to punish? A critical discourse on schooling in South Africa


Amasa Ndofirepi, Jeriphanos Makaye and Elizabeth S. Ndofirepi  


Wits School of Education, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa.
Department of Curriculum Studies, Great Zimbabwe University, Zimbabwe.
Wits School of Education, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa  

Corresponding Author’s Email: Amasa.ndofirepi @


In this paper we submit a critical, theoretical discourse of discipline and punishment in South African schools. The present situation in schools is indicative of a lack of discipline, which has led to a perpetuation of unsuccessful learning and teaching. The banning of corporal punishment has been criticized by many educators, many of whom continue to use it against the law, in the belief that it is necessary for the creation of a climate conducive to teaching and learning. We argue that the confusion as about the place of discipline and punishment in school is a definitional question. Hence, our interest in deliberating on the distinction between punishment and discipline in the context of South African schooling.
Keywords: democracy, punishing, teaching, learning, schooling

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